Romantic Date Restaurants in Milwaukee

What constitutes a romantic restaurant in Milwaukee will depend on your preferred scene. We all know that romance should spark anywhere with the right person, but if you want to help it along by choosing a conventionally romantic restaurant, here are just a few options.

2995 S. Clement Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53207
MCTS Routes: 15 and 51

Softly lighting an otherwise residential street in Bayview, Tenuta’s offers a simple atmosphere and surprising value for Italian food in Milwaukee. Casual yet refined, this corner restaurant is cozy and warm – ideal for romantic two-person dining. The staff is attentive and unpretentious, making Tenuta’s a welcoming place for those who want a nicer meal without snobbery. With an ample list of wines, simple but well-crafted entrees (try the hearty but subtly flavoured lasagna), and some exquisite desserts, this restaurant provides a start-to-finish experience that puts some foofier eateries to shame. Tenuta’s does not have any distracting features, rendering it a place to focus on conversation with your date.

Elsa’s on the Park
833 N. Jefferson St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Serving food nightly until 1:00
MCTS Routes: 10, 30, and 14

For the more exhibitionist couples of Milwaukee, Elsa’s is not just a place to be together – it’s a place to be seen together. Hipsters, yuppies, and gays mix amid lighted phallic obelisks and disaffected wait staff in long aprons. Elsa’s is wryly playful: their main menu attraction is a list of gourmet hamburgers. The burger au poivre (peppercorn and brandy) and the daisy mae burger (lemon and radish) are superb choices. If drinks, tight seating, and chattering urban ostentation are your scene, Elsa’s may be the ticket for a romantic date, especially post-symphony or pre-nightclub.

Pasta Tree
1503 N. Farwell Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
MCTS Routes: 30, 15 and 10

Ask East Siders to name a conventionally romantic restaurant and they’ll regularly mention Pasta Tree. On Farwell Avenue just south of Brady Street, a purpled doorway will lead you and your date into a shabby chic interior where the (sometimes overly) attentive staff will tell you all about the seafood specials. The food and wine are almost worth the cliche romantic vibe.

Mo’s: A Place for Steaks
720 N. Plankinton Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53203
MCTS Routes: any downtown service on Wisconsin Avenue

If you want to contribute to the Mo’s restaurant dynasty, this upscale steak house is a place high on both romance and expense. As you should expect, the service is superior, and the surf-and-turf is considered some of the best in Milwaukee. It seems that most patrons here are either couples on a date or corporate types trying to impress clients. Be prepared to see your share of North Shore fur and valet-parked Beemers and to hear the business set clamor on around you. If you can zero in on your date, enjoy some filet mignon, and ignore the atmosphere, Mo’s is worth the heftier tab.

Pizza Man
1800 E. North Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
MCTS Routes: 21, 15, and 30

Like Tenuta’s – but far more rustic – is the well-known Pizza Man at the busy corner of Oakland and North. Whether you want pizza or one of their hearty Italian dishes, the small tables and dark wooden booths make for casual, date-friendly nooks. Pizza Man is a low-drama, low-maintenance place ideal for couples who seek rich cuisine and a decent wine list without the trappings of sleeker ambience. Think stone fireplace, house red wine, and hip-but-gracious service.

1227 N. Water St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
MCTS Routes: 15, 57, 11, and 14

For martinis and small plate dining, consider Swig. With contemporary, understated decor and creative dishes, Swig makes sense for dates: rather than ordering separate entrees, couple can share multiple plates of New Zealand mussels, breaded ravioli, and sesame beef skewers. Many Milwaukee residents consider Swig to be a romantic get-to-know-you restaurant, perfect for a first date.

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